Workers’ compensation may not be enough if injured on the job

On-the-job accidents that result in injuries can happen in any industry. However, some industries are more prone to serious accidents and even workplace fatalities than others. Tulsa County residents who work in the industrial or construction sectors should be aware of their employers' safety programs. They should also know about the laws designed to keep them safe and provide compensation for them should they be injured at work.

Accident danger is real

The 2011 statistics for Oklahoma show the highest fatality rates in the construction and industrial segments, as follows:

  • 35 deaths in natural resources and mining
  • 18 deaths in trade, transportation and utilities
  • 15 deaths in construction
  • 13 deaths in transportation and warehousing
  • 7 deaths in manufacturing

Similarly, the 2011 instances of non-fatal accidents support the high risk associated with these industries with 6,800 accidents recorded in manufacturing, 2,800 in mining and 2,500 in construction alone. It is clear to see that industrial and construction accidents are of real concern.

The "Fatal Four"

According to the Office of Safety and Health Administration, more than 17 percent of all job-related deaths in 2011 happened in the construction industry. In Oklahoma, there were 15 construction related deaths resulting from workplace accidents.

This segment understands its risks and identifies the four most common reasons for serious accidents as "the fatal four". These are electrocutions, being caught between objects, being struck or falling from higher to lower levels.

Is workers' compensation enough?

Workers' compensation can be a standard option for compensation if injured on the job and, if available, should be filed for. However, it may not always provide the level of compensation needed by an injured worker or the family members of an injured or killed worker.

Depending on the level of accident and injury severity, compensation can include more than simply coverage of medical costs or wages lost from days off of work. For example, if an employee is able to resume work on a somewhat limited basis but perhaps an employer pays less for the more limited amount of work, there continues to be a loss of income overall.

Additionally, an injured employee may need resources beyond the basic medical care in order to fully address his or her injuries or to allow him or her to work or carry out other duties. This may include transportation assistance if the injured worker is unable to drive.

In situations like these, it is critical that employees know how to seek the proper representation that will ensure they get their full and just compensation. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney is truly the best way to know all of the options that can help protect you and your family if you are injured on the job. Take the time to get proper counsel to avoid losing out on what you deserve.